The Tompkins County Health Department is sharing the recent announcement by the CDC regarding the emergency authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 5-11 years old.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on Nov. 2, and voted in favor of using the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11. On Oct. 29, the FDA authorized use of the Pfizer vaccine in this age group.
TCHD is working closely with local pediatric offices and school districts to hold large vaccination clinics throughout the month of November at the Shops at Ithaca Mall vaccination site (40 Catherwood Road, Ithaca). Appointment links for Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 will be sent as soon as they are available by local school districts, TST BOCES, and other community partners to directly communicate to families with children 5-11 years old.
It is recommended that the second dose of Pfizer be given three to four weeks after the first dose. Second dose clinics will be scheduled by TCHD, and reminders will be sent through the New York State vaccination registration system.
As additional vaccine clinics are scheduled, details will be distributed by school districts and other community partners to prioritize Tompkins County children. Individuals without computer and/or internet access may also call 2-1-1 (877-211-8667) during regular business hours 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and a representative can register them over the phone. Parents or guardians/caregivers will need to sign a consent form for those under the age of 18.
Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director stated, “We have been waiting for a vaccine to be authorized for use in younger children and are happy to be able to share this announcement today. Getting children vaccinated against COVID-19 will protect them, as well as their families and grandparents, and bring us all closer to normal life and activities. The vaccine has gone through comprehensive and rigorous evaluation demonstrating safety and effectiveness.”
Kruppa continued, “We look forward to welcoming children and their families to the mall vaccination site. We have an excellent, experienced team of nurses, including some familiar faces from our local health department and pediatric offices. We will also have one of Children’s Reading Connection’s Stories in the Streets on display for families to enjoy while children are waiting and free books available for children to take home courtesy of Family Reading Partnership. As we have said throughout the pandemic, this truly has been a community effort and we thank our community partners for their ongoing support.”
A COVID-19 Town Hall will take place on Monday, Nov. 8 from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. The town hall can be viewed on You Tube and will be archived at the same link, questions from the public will be taken during the event. Guests will include Dr. Jeffrey Snedeker, physician at Northeast Pediatrics, and Rachel Buckwalter, Senior Community Health Nurse at TCHD. Please consider joining to hear more about the COVID-19 vaccine for children and other updates.
Additional information about the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5-11 can be found on the TCHD website’s vaccine FAQ page.
Booster doses continue to be available for eligible populations. Please contact your primary care provider or local pharmacy.